CAG, Kejriwal may meet on Feb 18 over power audit
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, Shashi Kant Sharma has stepped up efforts to expedite the process of DISCOM audit and is likely to meet Chief Minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal over 20 pending files on February 18. It was learnt that despite repeated reminders private companies including Reliance Infra and Tata Power are yet to hand over all the files required for the audit.
The Aam Aadmi Party has made the power tariff and alleged graft by private companies a big poll issue in the just concluded Assembly polls.
Sharma who is currently in Malaysia to attend 13th Assembly of Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) will meet Kejriwal soon after his arrival in the national capital on February 16.
Sources said, in his meeting with Kejriwal, the chances of fresh audit of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) may also be taken up. Sources said, “Kejriwal’s office made a contact with Sharma and asked him to meet the Chief Minister once he returns to Delhi.”
With Aam Admi Party (AAP) performance stupendously in Delhi elections with 67 seats out of 70, already share of power companies, including Reliance Infra and Tata Power, witnessed selling. These two companies supply electricity in Delhi and now concerned over audit during AAP’s 49-day stint with possible government’s directive to force them to lower tariffs.
Though there was a pressure on the CAG to release the report at the earliest, considering AAP’s government in the national Capital. But ground realties suggest that it would not be possible for the audit agency to come out with the findings before seven months. It was found that some of the crucial files of BSES Rajdhani and Yamuna are still ‘awaiting submission’ before the national auditor.
On January 9, 2014, audit was started and even after a year - it is going to take another seven months for the final output. A ‘noticeable delay’ in handing over files to CAG came even after CAG’s chief’s letter on June 16, 2014 to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung expressing his annoyance over the delay. Then he raised serious questions over the functioning of the top bureaucrats of Delhi government for not playing the role of facilitator ‘effectively’ despite having 49 per cent share in the power DISCOMs.
“Those who are engaged on the audit of DISCOMs cannot wait for infinite period waiting for the crucial records required for the audit as per ordered by the Supreme Court,” he had said.
Sources said, the ongoing audit is going on with a lesser pace, which was not expected and this is happening mainly because the CAG is waiting for some more ‘crucial files’ from BSES Rajdhani and Yamuna.
It was learnt that 20 very important files is yet to be handed over to the CAG, to conclude their audit. Well placed sources said, the number of pending files could me more but to reach on some conclusion these 20 files are crucial. Kejriwal, who was the Chief Minister of Delhi from December 28, 2013 to February 14, 2014, claimed that the audit will expose financial irregularities of the private companies and promised to make a case for reduction in power rates.